with physical, mental and emotional challenges
Athelas operates through the help of dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please give us a call. We need help with activities that include contact with our horses and clients, as well as with activities that do not require horse contact.
Skills or comfort with horses is not required to become a volunteer.
Print off this volunteer form and send it to us. We look forward to hearing from you.
We are looking for Volunteers!
Please contact us: 607-783-2321
Volunteer: "a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or a task."
When I first started volunteering it was under the assumption that there was no strings attached. The opposite of an "obligation" if you would. A type of agreement with no contract or direct benefit in regards to me; the volunteer.
However, I couldn't have been more wrong.
From the very first moment I stepped foot into the barn I understood there was indeed an obligation. I came to the realization that while I, the volunteer, might not have been waiting all day to go to the barn, the riders felt the exact opposite way. In particular a young man named Tristan. A young man I was blessed to meet. I could see it in his eyes that he indeed did wait all day to do what he loved; ride. He counted on me, no he needed me, so he could do just that. If that's not an obligation I don't know what is.
Next, I realized while I might not have signed an official contract one might be used to for work; I did sign a contract none the less. I signed a contract to myself; one between my mind and my heart with understanding of what I signed up to do was bigger than myself. I can without a doubt say that I am glad I signed that contract.
Last but not least and perhaps what I was most wrong about; the lack of reward and or benefit to me. To be honest following my experiences at Athelas I cannot think of many other things that are as rewarding or fulfilling as the feeling you get from helping someone else. Especially someone who cannot help themselves.
My experience at Athelas taught me a lot about the world and more about myself. If I could sum my experience up in one sentence I would say this; Athelas should not be grateful for the time that I spent there but rather, I should be grateful that I was able to spend time at Athelas.
Eric Michael, October 2020
Deb Gross was one of Athelas' most dedicated and fun loving volunteers. Deb was an active Board member, chair of the fundraising committee, and a parent liaison, as many of her children have participated in our programs for several years. Two of Athelas' annual fundraisers, the Barn Dance and Haunted Barn/Stall Wars, were made possible and became so successful because of Deb's involvement. We could not have done it all without her. She put her heart and soul into everything she did and it showed in so many wonderful ways. Deb's kind, loving and generous spirit was a huge part of Athelas. She spread joy and happiness to all who met her and had the pleasure of working side by side with her. We at Athelas are all so thankful for knowing, working with, and sharing a special friendship with Deb Gross. She will forever be remembered and we shall forever be grateful.